Estoril MotoGP: Valentino Rossi bemoans set-up gamble

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Valentino Rossi blamed a wrong set-up gamble for his failure to end 2010 world champion Jorge Lorenzo’s domination of the Estoril MotoGP race yesterday.

The Italian led for a long spell in the 28-lap clash but was powerless to stop the Spaniard from running away to a third straight win on Portuguese soil.

The race was a set-up gamble for everybody with the field facing the unusual circumstances of starting having never completed a single lap in practice and qualifying in dry conditions.

And Rossi said his set-up selection backfired as he lost by over eight seconds to Lorenzo, who claimed his eighth win of the 2010 season.

Lorenzo simply ran the set-up he used to win the race in 2009 but Rossi changed his settings from last year having struggled to a distant fourth.

He said: “Jorge put the setting of last year, which was very good and the job was finished. I raced with a big difference in the setting to last year because last year was a bad result.

"The bike worked well in the wet conditions and I think I was favourite for the victory if it was a wet race. I was the fastest in the wet warm-up too.  But in the dry we had to just trust on our work in the wet and make a modification that you usually do for the dry.

"I was fine and had a good feeling from the start and opened some advantage but after the bike moved a bit too much.”

Defeat yesterday means Rossi now has only one more opportunity to win again for Yamaha before he moves to Ducati.

He added: “I'm curious to understand if we can make another step in Valencia, which is quite a bad track for me. Next week will be an important week for me and my future. 

"Firstly it is the race where I can fight for the second place in the championship, I am third, which is a good result considering I missed four races and I make a lot races with injury.

"And then from Tuesday start the new adventure and try the new bike.”

Hear Rossi's views on close pal Marco Simoncelli’s 2011 prospects in Wednesday’s issue of MCN, out on November 3.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt